Emily Ryan
The Commons

Climate scientist, author to give 2022 Kenneth Spencer Lecture

Tue, 04/26/2022

LAWRENCE – Climate scientist and author Katharine Hayhoe will give the 2022 Spencer Lecture, “Saving Us: An Evening with Katharine Hayhoe,” inspired by her latest book. The event, hosted by The Commons at the University of Kansas, will take place at 7 p.m. April 27 as a Zoom webinar. Additionally, Hayhoe will offer a dialogue in the “All We Can Save” series the next day at 10 a.m. April 28.

Katharine HayhoeHayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and why it matters to humans. She has been awarded numerous accolades, including the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of the Planet award and the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize. She has been named to lists including Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, FORTUNE magazine’s World’s Greatest Leaders and the United Nations Champion of the Earth in Science and Innovation. In her public-facing scholarship, Hayhoe hosts the PBS digital series “Global Weirding,” and she has served on advisory committees for organizations including the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, the Earth Science Women’s Network and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Hayhoe serves as chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy and is a Paul W. Horn Distinguished Professor and the Political Science Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law at Texas Tech University. She has a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree and doctorate in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Colgate University and Victoria University at the University of Toronto.

Following her presentation on Wednesday evening, Hayhoe will be in conversation with attendees for an “All We Can Save” session, discussing “The Power of Communication” with Megan Kaminski, associate professor of English and poet, and Ali Brox, assistant teaching professor in the Environmental Studies Program. This session will also be hosted on Zoom. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions for conversation.

The Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture is hosted by The Commons annually to invite leading  thinkers whose work applies across disciplines to address the KU and regional communities. In recent years, the lecture series has featured architectural biologist Jessica Green, writer/historian Rebecca Solnit, poet/scholar/artist Eve Ewing, activist/writer Jose Antonio Vargas, author/illustrator/screenwriter Jonny Sun, and writer, scientist and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Robin Wall Kimmerer.

The Spencer Lecture will be broadcast via Zoom webinar. To register, visit

The All We Can Save event will be hosted via Zoom meeting. To register, visit

Anyone needing special accommodations may contact The Commons staff for assistance at

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